Library Dissertation Showcase

The Role of Symmetrical Viewpoints in the Formation of View-Invariant Face Representations

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

Symmetrical viewpoints have been implicated in the process of face learning, as they are suggested to provide an advantage in the formation of view-invariant representations. The N250r component, an electrophysiological marker, is assumed to be associated with face learning and familiarity, and demonstrates a robustness to viewpoint changes. The aim of this study was to utilise the point of emergence of the N250r component as a signifier of face learning when faces were viewed at symmetrical viewpoints compared with non-symmetrical viewpoints, to establish whether faces are learned faster as a result of exposure to symmetrical viewpoints. Participants took part in an identity matching task in which two same or different identity faces were presented at either the same viewpoint, symmetrical viewpoints or different, non-symmetrical viewpoints. The N250r component did not emerge earlier for symmetrical viewpoints, nor was it significantly larger at symmetrical viewpoints than different, non-symmetrical viewpoints. Instead a consistent N250r response was observed across all viewpoints throughout the duration of the task. These results fail to corroborate previous research, therefore prompting the formation of an alternative hypothesis surrounding the meaning of the N250r and its role in face perception.

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